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Essex Probation

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Accommodation Facts

Accommodation SearchCauses of homelessness: research by Sheffield Hallam University shows:

  • Relationship breakdown: 41 per cent
  • Being asked to leave the family home: 28 per cent
  • Drug and alcohol problems: 31 per cent and 28 per cent respectively
  • Leaving prison: 25 per cent
  • Mental health problems: 19 per cent
  • Other: for example, eviction, problems with benefits payments.

Fleshing out the numbers:

  • Individual factors include drug and alcohol misuse, lack of qualifications, lack of social support, debts (especially mortgage or rent arrears), poor physical and mental health, relationship breakdown, and getting involved in crime at an early age
  • Family background includes family breakdown and disputes, sexual and physical abuse in childhood or adolescence, having parents with drug or alcohol problems, and previous experience of family homelessness
  • An institutional background includes having been in care, the armed forces, or in prison.
  • Wider policy developments, such as the closure of long-stay psychiatric hospitals, also have an influence.

On average, two to three factors contribute to an individual’s homelessness.

Research examining routes into homelessness has found that family conflict was the most common starting point for homelessness, regardless of age. Family conflict in the past can also trigger homelessness in later life.